Airheads debuts underwater candy vending machine

By Natasha Spencer-Jolliffe

- Last updated on GMT

Airheads debuts underwater candy vending machine

Related tags Candy Marketing Confectionery consumer insights Perfetti van melle chews

Taking its marketing efforts to new depths, the US candy maker is focused on fun

Airheads has launched underwater candy vending machines in pools across the US to promote fun and nostalgia among summer swimmers. The new candy dispensing format is “taking fun instead of cash” requiring swimmers to trade underwater tricks like flips, or a tea party in return for candy that shoots out of the specially designed machine. 

“We’re always looking to engage our fans and consumers in ways that are ‘just for fun’,” says an Airheads spokesperson. “We never know what the future holds, but for this summer it just made sense to take “fun” in lieu of payment.”

Nostalgia with a twist

In a nod to nostalgia, the brand’s underwater vending machines will feature Airheads original bars. “So many people have nostalgic memories of savouring Airheads at the pool on a hot day and we want to bring this feeling back, and with a fun twist,” says Craig Cuchra, VP of Marketing at Perfetti Van Melle, maker of Airheads candy.

Ahead of its underwater launch, Airheads carried out a survey and has shared its ‘no fun’ statistics. Tapping into the joys of play, fun, and freedom, Airheads found that 80% of adults long for days when summer was about playing and discovered almost three-quarters (73%) don’t swim as much as they did when they were children.

When the campaign launched on May 27, 2024, the limited edition machines costing $7,000 sold out – with buyers enticed by the offer of receiving a lifetime supply of Airheads candy.

Putting fun front and centre

Airheads is part of the Perfetti Van Melle Group alongside household names such as Mentos, Frisk, Chupa Chups and Fruit-tella. The American brand is known for its vibrant colours, tangy fruit flavours and chewy texture. This isn’t the first time Airheads has generated headlines with its marketing stunts – last summer the firm launched an Airheads Shake Factory at Muscle Beach Gym in Venice Beach, California powered by bodybuilders shaking Airheads into delicious pillows for fans. And in October 2023 it hosted A.I.rheads Scarefest an AI-powered film festival with a $2,000 prize awarded to filmmakers who incorporated the brand balloon into their three minute horror film.

Related topics Candy Perfetti Van Melle Seasonal

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